Home » Articles » How to treat a model on location shoots

How to treat a model on location shoots

By GerryS, written 1429947664

How to treat a model on a location shoot

I have recently heard some horror stories of how some photographers treat models on location shoots, so thought I would set my thoughts down on the subject. I guess it is really common sense but when you hear what goes on, maybe it isn’t.

Just because you are paying for a shoot does not mean you can treat the model as some subservient person. The best shoots are done where the approach is a partnership and both model and photographer work together and respect each other.

  • Agree a time and place to meet and make sure you turn up on time.
  • Check the age of the model you are working with by seeing their passport or other suitable documentation
  •  Agree in advance through Purpleport messages the type of shoot you will be doing and don’t stray from this ie if you agree art nude, don’t try and push the limits into adult open leg on the shoot. Using Purpleport messages means the agreement is documented
  •  Do not send inappropriate messages or photos to models, remain professional at all times
  •  Under no circumstances should you touch the model at any time, unless the model requests your help with anything.
  •  If the model wishes to bring a chaperone you should accept this, this is so the model feels safe and is a good precaution if they have not worked with you before, or you do not have a string of good references. If you are a good a legitimate photographer you will accommodate this even if you would prefer not to.
  •  Remember you are responsible for the models Health & Safety and you should risk assess the location and what you are asking the model to do. Remember at all times if a model gets injured on your shoot they are likely to be claiming from you, so you might want to consider appropriate insurance
  •  Its not acceptable to suggest that you would like to be naked whilst shooting the model as you are a naturist
  •  Whilst the model is getting changed give them space and privacy and do not watch them
  •  Make sure you check whether your model would like refreshments on the shoot and if so provide them, as a minimum make sure you have plenty of bottled water.
  •  If it’s a winter shoot or cold day, make sure you have a good coat and blanket that the model can use to keep warm. Shoot in short bursts of a few minutes, then let the model cover up and warm up. Do not let your model get cold.
  • Your model will want to do make sure you have a good shoot so will often not tell you when they are cold, so you should look out for signs they are cold, and ask them frequently are the ok, would they like to stop and warm up.
  •  On hot days you should ensure your model does not get too hot, takes on plenty of fluids, does not get sun burnt and has some shade to take a break under. It’s always good as a photographer to carry a big gold umbrella.
  •  If you are doing nude shoots be vigilant and keep eyes and ears open for members of the public Ramblers and dog walkers turn up everywhere, ensure you have a robe, coat or something similar so that the model can quickly cover up.
  •  If you are shooting in a more public place take an assistant with you to act as eyes and ears and an early warning of approaching people.
  •  If you ask your model to do something on a shoot and they say No, that means NO, do not apply pressure or say you wont pay them.
  •  Always Pay your model what you agreed to pay them and do not try to negotiate this down on the day. Models have bills to pay and for many this is their main job and source or income.


Treat your model with respect, be pleasant and polite and think of their needs and comfort. If you do you will have a good shoot, get some great results, they will work hard and they will give you great feedback and references.